ASFA: Meet the presidential candidates

The Arts and Science Federation of Associations’ (ASFA) nomination period for its upcoming general election is over, and all candidates running for executive positions were announced on Sunday. Polling will be taking place between Feb. 15 and 17. As the campaign period begins, The Concordian sat down with presidential candidates Caroline Bourbonnière and Charles Brenchley for an inside look at their newly-launched platforms.

Caroline Bourbonnière:

What would you do if you were elected ASFA president?
I think the most important thing to do is strengthen ties with the CSU. There has been a bit of miscommunication between ASFA and the CSU. That’s the way to get things clear. I do want us to have healthy relationships with the press. Many students are not aware of what is going on at Concordia. I want a better ASFA. I want to bring it back on track.

What are the main points of your platform?
I plan to create an ASFA scholarship of $500 for five students not only with high GPAs, but for those who are also involved in the Concordia community. I also want to start ASFA success workshops. ASFA’s job is to provide services to students so they can succeed and show them how to get involved.

How would you get students more involved with ASFA?
I think executives need to be more visible to the student population. Also, an online presence with videos updating students on what’s happening [would help]. I also want to do classroom visits, with speeches, to a different class each week. It’s a great way to provide information to people while getting students inspired.

What made you choose to be affiliated?
[Those] I’m affiliated with all demonstrated real drive and good ideas. I know Eric Moses is a perfect fit for VP academic. Carlotta [Longo] would be an amazing VP external. She’s really engaged with fighting tuition hikes and I think she could mobilize a lot of people. They all have what it takes.

What differentiates you from other candidates?
I think what ASFA might need is a pragmatic leader who wants to serve the students and get things done. I am honest, I have a clean record. I have a vision, I think big.

What is your position on the CSU engaging in legal proceedings to get out of the Canadian Federation of Students?
I think it’s very disappointing that the CFS is not giving Concordia their democratic right to get out. The group is supposed to be lobbying for students’ rights and this just seems wrong.

Why should someone vote for you?
I see so much potential in ASFA, and I would be so excited to take on this challenge.
I wake up early and I go to bed late and it’s because I want to get the job done and keep my promises.

Charlie Brenchley is running for ASFA President for a second time. Photo by Navneet Pall.

Charles Brenchley:

What would you do if you were elected ASFA president?
I am a man for the students and I will represent the majority voice of the students. I have the beat; I have been implementing myself into it. My role would also be to build the youth engagement within Quebec and whatever momentum it is among arts and science students.

What are the main points of your platform?
First, we really want to build that vibe to make people proud to be arts and science students on both campuses. Second, I want to work with student associations to really empower them. ASFA oversees the local funding of local associations and I want to give them the tools to run their events successfully.

You ran two years ago and lost. What do you have now that you did not have then?
I was a first-year student and I wasn’t completely versed in the Concordia community. I really got involved in the student movement at Concordia since the last time I ran for the position. I think that I am now completely ready to be president.

What made you choose to be affiliated?
I think it’s important for whoever gets elected next year to have a group of people that want to work together. Being at Concordia for a few years, I got to know them and I think we have a group of people that is extremely diverse, and everyone has been involved with the council in a different way.

What is your position on the CSU engaging in legal proceedings to get out of the Canadian Federation of Students?
I am no longer connected to [the CFS] in any way. I have definitely made mistakes in the past, but I am now at Concordia and I have seen from within the student movement at Concordia what the Quebec student movement wants and I think it’s important to recognize the vote that took place in 2009 [to leave the CFS]. Right now, CFS has no place here in the Quebec student movement.

What differentiates you from other candidates?
I think that I bring a lot of skills to the table. I am running with a group of people who have a lot of council experience. The other affiliation is deeply rooted in the political science department downtown but ours is present on both campuses. Moreover, not one person from the other affiliation has been sitting or present at ASFA council meetings.

These interviews have been edited for length.

ASFA 2012-2013 candidates:

-Caroline Bourbonnière (President)
-Carlotta Longo (VP external)
-Eric Moses (VP academic and Loyola affairs)
-Terrence Adams (VP social)
-Nick Santella (VP communications)

-Charles Brenchley (President)
-Veryan Goodship (VP internal)
-Maddy Griffin (VP social)
-Jeansil Bruyère (VP academic and Loyola affairs)
-Olivia Taddio (VP external and sustainability)
-Rachel Feldman (VP finance)

Sean Nolan (Independent)
Maryam Azam (VP communications)

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